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Oliver Lyttleton Constitution

Oliver Lyttleton Constitution

The decision arrived at in the 1953 London and 1954 Lagos constitutional conferences, that were published and which came into effect in October 1954, constituted the main provision of the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954. Factors that led to the collapse of the Macpherson constitution included:

  1. Eastern region crisis of 1953.
  2. Motion for self-government in 1953 by Anthony Enahoro
  3. Rejection of self-government motion by Northerners causing their humiliation.
  4. Threat of Northern secession.
  5. Kano riot of 1953.

FEATURES OF THE LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION

  1. Greater autonomy to the regions.
  2. Concurrent list established.
  3. Residual powers lie with the regions.
  4. Governors for regions, Governor General for the centre.
  5. North and West still bi-cameral, East was uni-cameral.

MERITS OF THE LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION

  1. Federation was finally established.
  2. Standard direct elections were conducted.
  3. Ministers had control of their departments.
  4. Premiers in the regions assumed leadership positions.
  5. The constitution was the bedrock for further advancement.
  6. Office of the Speaker was created.

CRITICISM OF THE LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION

  1. No provisions for office of the Prime Minister at the centre.
  2. Failure to provide second chamber of legislature at the centre.
  3. Veto power was still with the Governor General.
  4. Fear of domination of minorities was exposed leading to clamour for more regions.
  5. Central ministers owed allegiance to the regions.

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